"Very lucky" - ex Premier League referee believes Wolves defender should've been sent off against Leeds United

Ex-Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes Romain Saiss was "very lucky" not to be sent off against Leeds United.

Monday, 25th October 2021, 3:03 pm
Updated Monday, 25th October 2021, 3:04 pm

The Whites earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Elland Road in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

Hwang Hee-Chan broke the deadlock for Bruno Lage's visitors in the opening 45 minutes before a second half onslaught from Marcelo Bielsa's men ensued.

Rodrigo eventually restored parity in the fourth minute of injury-time from the penalty spot and secured a deserved point for Leeds following a clever run from substitute Joe Gelhardt to earn the spot-kick.

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Leeds United's Raphinha was forced off injured against Wolves. Pic: Bruce Rollinson

Wolves defender Saiss had earlier picked up a booking in the 53rd minute for a handball that halted a swift Whites attack with Bielsa's men searching for the all-important equaliser.

The centre-back, though, followed through with high studs on winger Raphinha in the aftermath of his illegal use of an arm, which caused an early end to the Brazilian's afternoon as he limped down the tunnel under help from the hosts coaching staff.

Referee Robert Jones appeared to miss the resulting collision while United's wide man later hit out later on social media at the failure to punish Saiss for the challenge.

Former top flight match official Gallagher has now agreed with the complaints coming out of LS11 over the failure to act.

"I think he’s very lucky. I think this is very similar to Pogba (his red card against Liverpool)," Gallagher told Sky Sports News over Saiss' late tackle.

"What I would say, is the ref hasn’t got the best view. He thinks that Raphinha hurdles Saiss because he actually gives handball, he doesn’t give the foul.

"I don’t think he’s actually seen that, he yellow cards him for handball.

"If he sees it again and he sees where the leg’s planted – into the shin, I think that’s not too dissimilar to Pogba’s and if Rob Jones had got the view that we’ve got he may well have made a different decision."

Asked about why VAR failed to intervene if that was the case, he said: "Well the VAR probably felt that he’d hurdled him, the same as the referee. I can only give my opinion. The player’s had to leave the field because of the injury, I think if he got a red card he couldn’t complain."

Gallagher was also quizzed over the late decision to hand United a penalty after Nelson Semedo was adjudged to have sent Gelhardt tumbling to the floor inside the box.

"When you see this it looks clumsy but when you see it again he actually does push him with force. The referee’s got no option but to give it," said Gallagher.